Modern farming owes much to long-standing research that continues to pump out results and to provide valuable perspectives to guide the future of agricultural science, achievements that will be celebrated at a three-day international conference in May.
One of the most ambitious programmes to provide lasting improvements in nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa begins today when a diverse multinational team of experts from agriculture to ethics start looking for ways to end dietary deficiencies in essential micronutrients.
“Our results provide the first demonstration that these stressors can synergistically interact and cause significant harm to animal survival,” report the researchers. “These findings have implications for pesticide risk-assessment and pollinator protection, and emphasise the importance of nutrition.”
Research investment in the life sciences has focused too much on medicine and biomedicine at the expense of agriculture and biotechnology more generally, acknowledges Sir Paul Nurse, Chief Executive & Director of the Francis Crick Institute, a biomedical research centre in London.
Agriculture has just over a decade to adapt and evolve to new ways of working that will enable it to feed a growing global population without causing lasting damage to the environment, says Achim Dobermann, Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research.
“We will put the UK at the forefront of the global move to high-efficiency agriculture,” says the 255-page white paper. “Over the coming years, we will increase the incentives for investment in sustainable agriculture, helping to grow the markets for innovative technologies and techniques.”